Sunday, November 10, 2013

Kenya assures UK of safety as 2013 H1 arrivals drop

East African Affairs, Commerce and
Tourism Cabinet Secretary
Mrs. Phylis  Kandie
greets Chris Modigel,
Director  Leopard Beach Resort &Spa,
during her tour of Kenyan exhibition stand 
at World Travel Market  (WTM),
UK where Kenya is
showcasing her tourism products.
Looking on  is Kenya Tourism Board
 (KTB) KTB Managing Director
Muriithi Ndegwa.
Kenya yesterday seized the opening of the four-day long World Travel Market (WTM) in UK to re-assure international tourists of their safety while in Kenya.
Cabinet Secretary for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Mrs. Phylis Kandie who is leading over 50 companies from the local travel and hospitality industry re-assured travelers that Kenya remains a safe country despite the recent Westgate attacks by terrorists.
“We are here to now re-affirm our resilience and that Kenya is safe for our tourists, the government has put in place a raft of security measures to scale up security for both the visitors and tourists alike,” says Kandie.
The Kenyan delegation is among the over 5,000 suppliers of travel and tourist products who are meeting to discover and negotiate the latest travel industry trends and opinions, at the WTM, one of the largest tourism fair in the world.
Kandie said the Kenya tourism stand themed ‘The best of Kenya’ resonated well with the campaigns the tourism sector has stepped up to restore the arrival numbers that dropped  in the 2012 – 2013  financial year to about  8.8%  to record 1,167,741 International arrivals compared to 1,280,314 in the same period in 2011/12 financial year.
She said while the country was focusing on Emerging and Regional markets, key traditional source markets such as UK continue to top overall albeit its drop in numbers as witnessed in the past couple of months.
As per recent statistics, the UK market is the leading visitor market contributing 13.8% of the total inbound traffic with 68,676 arrivals, going by the half year 2013 (January to June) arrival figures.

The market however shows a decline of 17.8% compared to the same period in 2012 which posted 83,504 arrivals.

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa expressed his optimisms of reversing the down-ward growth following a number of marketing strategies KTB has put in place.
“WTM is one of the platforms of showcasing Kenya’s destination, product diversification strategy, global campaigns and the renewed confidence on destination that is  expected to boost our numbers  from the market” he said.
He said the renewed vigour exhibited to reposition Kenya as a preferred tourism destination at a time when there is increased competition from other destinations and dynamic shifts in source markets will definitely bear fruits.
Among key discussion featuring during the WTM meet include stimulation of jobs and investment in the industry, elimination of barriers to travel such as visa restrictions, taxation, and outmoded infrastructure systems.

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